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My First Two CrossFit Workouts

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by DBradD, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Well, I don't know if it'll stick, but I've decided to start doing the CrossFit WoD. So far so good. Mini-report for anybody who's interested:

    Day 1 was pullups, done ladder style: Do 1 during the 1st minute, 2 during the 2nd minute, until the minutes catch up to the number done. I could only get to the 6th minute and couldn't do 7 during the 7th minute. The workout was so short that I started the timer over and went through it two more times. Lats are sore today, so I think it went ok. The guys on the CrossFit message board said that I could've stopped after the first lap and then worked on some skill like kipping pullups or handstands, but that what I did was fine.

    Day 2 was tabata squats. Do as many as possible in 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, repeat for a total of 8 sets in 4 minutes. That's it, the total workout. Very strange. My legs were absolutely blasted for at least an hour after the workout, but it just didn't seem right to only do 4 minutes of workout for the whole day. I think I should've worked on a skill to increase the time, but didn't think about it at the time.

    So far, the most striking thing is the time economy. The first workout was about 30 minutes and the second one was, well, 4 minutes. I also read later that there's a standard warmup that would be a decent workout in itself that I should've done first. If I did that first, then one workout would've been about 40-45 minutes and the other about 15-20 minutes. That's some serious bang for the buck.

    I think it's going to work out well. I'll post updates if there's anything interesting to write about.
     
  2. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Tabatas really suck.:supergrin: I think you'll be sore. Good luck w/ the xfit and keep me posted.
     

  3. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Today's WoD was Diane:

    225 lb deadlift 21 reps
    handstand pushups 21 reps
    225 lb deadlift 15 reps
    handstand pushups 15 reps
    225 lb deadlift 9 reps
    handstand pushups 9 reps

    performed sequentially for time. Took me 16:01. The time is the score, period. Total gym time was 30 minutes counting warmup and stripping the plates at the end (I think I would've paid somebody $10 to take those four 45 lb plates off the bar and carry them over to the rack, LOL).

    If anybody doubts that it's possible to be absolutely exhausted to the point of simultaneously puking and passing out in 16 minutes, they should try Diane.

    I could do the handstand pushups fairly easily, but those deadlifts were absolutely crushing even for me, being a former powerlifter.

    Still, the most striking aspect of the program is the time efficiency. Regardless of how busy somebody is, there's no way that CrossFit would take too long. That gives me great hope for the future.
     
  4. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Keep it up Brad, way to go!
     
  5. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Two more workouts to report:

    Yesterday was pullups, 10 sets of 1, with max weight. That was pretty easy, a relief from the day before. I think the people at the gym probably thought I was nuts, though, LOL. Lats barely sore.

    Today was:
    135 lb cleans (21, 15, 9) alternating with dips (63, 45, 27) for time (21 minutes). That's a hell of a lot of dips. My triceps actually threatened to cramp, which was a first for me. I also have a blister in one of my callouses--another first.

    Impression so far:

    I've done a tremendous amount of pushups, handstand pushups, and pullups over the last few months. Those muscles are in great shape for CrossFit so far.

    Despite my best efforts doing tons of bodyweight squats and back bridges, my legs, butt, lower back, and traps are in sorry shape. I'd say that is probably the weakness of no-equipment routines: no way to effectively work that chain of muscles without picking up a barbell.

    CrossFit mauls the entire body. I feel about like I remember feeling after a 2-3 hour judo class--beat half to death. I'm going to be in great shape if I can hang in there.
     
  6. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket

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    Someone else posted a thread about working out in GNG, which reminded me about this Fitness forum in GT. So, here I am again.

    DBradD - keep it up, man. I've been doing CF since July, and it has been great. Thanks to you and CJ and a few posts back in June/July, I jumped in to CF and haven't looked back. My goal with CF was to build my endurance (I did zero cardio before CF, just iron) and to find something fresh so it wasn't so boring. CF was my answer.
     
  7. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Good job Michael. Keep us posted on the progress please.

    One of these days I'll jump on the bandwagon too.

    Jack
     
  8. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Today's WoD would've been too easy for an olympic style lifter.

    Front squats, 7 sets of 3.

    My wrists and elbows gave me more trouble than my back and legs, so I think I need to work on flexibility.
     
  9. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Yeah, front squats are about the only thing I do well. That wrist and elbow flexibility is tough. My wrists and hands(in the palm area) were sore while learning and gaining the required flexibility. I only wonder if you front squat or clean frequently enough on that program to achieve the degree of flexibility required. There is always ho hand front squats.
     
  10. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Good question about flexibility vs infrequent cleans and front squats. I considered starting a thread on the subject. Do olympic style lifters have specific methods of dealing with elbow and wrist flexibility other than just doing a lot of cleans which fix the problem eventually? One idea is to add 2-3 sets of light cleans and front squats to my daily warmup. I'll have to think about that one.

    My elbows are as big a problem as my wrists. My biceps, forearms, and triceps are not extremely large by any standard, but my elbow doesn't flex to a small enough angle to allow me to put the top of my hand on my shoulder. Of course the bar forces it into this position.

    I might go to no-hands front squats if the problem doesn't improve. That doesn't do anything for cleans, though. I could go to dumbbell cleans as we've typed about before, but I'm afraid I won't get as much weight due to instability, so therefore a less intense workout.
     
  11. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    First, let me clarify, that while I try to perform the OLs. I do not consider myself an OLer.:) I am sef-taught, and still learning. I have never competed and have very limited coaching. I have only trained two times with another lifter. So, asking me about other OLers methods for elbow and wrist flexibility, you'll only hear about my experience, what I'ver read both online and in books/training manuals, and what I've seen in videos.

    One wrist flexibility exercise is: extend arms straight out in front of you palms up. Bend wrist so fingers point downward. Put palms against wall and push against wall.

    Another way to get wrist and elbow flexibility is to load a bar in the rack with a lot of weight. Get under bar like you are going to unrack it in the front squat positiion and push up against the bar. Unrack it if you want.

    I became flexible enough just by cleaning and front squating.

    Really though, flexibility isn't the correct word for me. I can't put the back of my hands on my shoulders with my elbows up high. I need at least 95 if not 135 pounds for that to happen. I suppose elasticability would be more proper.

    Have you aked this question on the xfit message board, they'll mmost likely have more appropriate info.

    I can tell you it really was painful and sucked until I got the kinks worked out.

    Brad, I'm a little surprised to hear you say this. After all, if instability caused a less efficient workout, machines would be the way to go eh? Brad, give it a shot. If the workout calls for 21 reps of 135 pound cleans, try it woth 2 65 poundrs,I'm betting you'll find the workout more intense, just a guess though.

    Please keep me posted on your progress regardining this issue.

    I'm rushed time wise, so this may be an incomplete response, sorry. Let me know if I can help more.

    Good luck,

    Jack
     
  12. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I agree in principle, but it somehow seemed different with cleans (like "they're already unstable enough"!), but maybe my reasoning was wrong. I'll give dumbbell cleans a shot to see how that works. That would be cooler anyway because I'd be a lot closer to outfitting my own home gym because they're cheaper. That also alleviates the concern over learning imprecise form.

    Thanks for the well thought-out, as usual, response.

    DBD
     
  13. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Brad,

    I just went out to the garage to try this. If you follow this method make sure you try to push your elbows up as high as possible.

    Jack
     
  14. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Cool. I'll do it. Thanks for making the special trip.
     
  15. DBradD

    DBradD

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    So I made it through two weeks and BAM! Hurt back after doing 15x135 lb deadlifts / 400m runs / 15xsitups circuited 3 times for time. I felt fine when I left the gym, came home and sat in my office chair for about 2 hours, getting some work done, and my left spinal erector spasmed up terribly. Man, that sucks. Of course, I've been there, done that a few times, so it's mainly a major irritation. Hard to sleep, hard to tie shoes, etc. That was Sunday. Today's Thursday and I think I could do a WoD that only includes chinups, squats (bodyweight!), and pull-ups.

    From typing on the CrossFit message boards, it seems that I should scale the WoD for a while, maybe a month or two. I'm one of those "moderately fit" folks who apparently hurt themselves a lot when first starting CrossFit. Folks who are badly out of shape usually get gassed so quickly that they don't usually hurt themselves. It's us "weekend warrior" types who are fit enough to hurt ourselves, but not so fit that we can take the punishment right out of the gate.

    Now, taking my bruised ego and my plan back to the drawing board...

    I'm not giving up, just going to proceed a little more cautiously.
     
  16. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket

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    DBradD,

    Sorry to hear of the set back. Get well soon.

    I had to moderate on time, reps and weight when I started as well, especially the cardio exercises and the exercises I've never done before. Actually, I still do on some. My goal is to stay active and fit, not get ready for a competition so moderating is no big deal to me.
     
  17. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Brad, I'm sorry to hear about your setback too. Last night I playe3d soccer at my son's practice. We scrimmaged for about an hour. I was sucking wind badly. I may have to find a way to work xfit in with my OLing. Thanks for the warning. Good luck.

    Jack
     
  18. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Thanks guys. Just gotta be a little more careful and conservative.

    It's difficult to know when to stop. The CF website is loaded full of info about how hard it is, how tired one gets, working to the point of puking, etc. The weights were light and I COULD make it through the WoD. Actually, I was much worse off after some of the other WoD than that one, so I had no idea I was damaging anything.

    Also, you have to really look for the scaled workouts. I think they need a tremendously expanded "how to get started" section.

    In reality, I think my problem is easy to understand. I have reasonably good cardio fitness and muscle groups, EXCEPT ONE--that chain of muscles from the back of my knees to my middle back, the one used in deadlifts and cleans. That is a definite weak link and took a beating during some of those WoD. Bodyweight-only programs like I've been doing are extremely weak for conditioning that chain. I've done a lot of back bridges, reverse pushups, etc. for the last 6 months, and I'm sure they did something, but not anywhere near what deadlifts and cleans demand.

    Edit: As for starting CF, why not start doing the official warmup? Looking back on it, I wish I would've diligently done that only for about a month, before doing any of the WoD. I don't see how that could possibly be a bad thing for any olympic style lifter. Just running through that circuit 3 times in about 10 minutes is a good start.
     
  19. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Maybe I'll give that a shot. It's not that I'm worried about xfit messing up my lifting,it's just that I enjoy the OLs and don't really want to give up training them. AN0other thing is that I get motivated by seeing my lifts go up, not sure I'd get the same motivation by keeping track of my girl workout times on xfit.

    I'm in a real slump with my snatch right now, and don't see it getting better without coaching. My kids keep me too busy to get coaching so I thought I'd take a little break fom OLing and get in better condition with xfit, and clean and jerk when I get the chance.
     
  20. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I saw a video on CF's website of a guy doing a very heavy C&J single, so I think some folks lean their training heavily in that direction. He wouldn't have gotten to his level by doing high reps only.

    I've also read answers to questions (don't remember if I was in the FAQ or message board) regarding emphasizing other activities, and there seem to be ways of changing the program to suit one's particular sport/goals. I think the key is timing so that one has adequate rest before the other activity.

    One thing I'm wondering about is how fast the body improves and stops getting gassed so quickly. I sure hope that it doesn't take forever to improve in this regard. I might post something on the CF board about this. I'm curious if you could do CF for, say 2 months, and see a whopper difference--no clue if this is possible.